Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time To Thank Andrew Cuomo For His "Monumental Gaffe" That The Common Core Tests Are "Meaningless"

I've been hitting on Governor Cuomo's remark to reporters late last week that students should take Common Core state tests because the scores don't count for them for a couple of days now (see here, here and here.).

The governor said the scores are "meaningless" for students, so they should take the tests because they are just "practice".

Given that he was adamant the scores should be used to fire teachers and close schools, I thought that "meaningless" statement was quite an admission by the governor and many readers of Perdido Street School blog thought the same, but I haven't seen much in the news media about the statement.

Until today, when Fred LeBrun wrote about it today in the Times-Union:

The New York opt-out movement will only grow next year, especially in light of Cuomo's monumental gaffe on Friday.

"The grades are meaningless to the students," Cuomo emphasized to a group of reporters, obviously reacting to the success of the opt-outers. Meaningless for the next five years, he said. Meaningless. So, remind us why they're taking these tests, if they aren't being used to steer and model learning and personal improvement?

"They can opt out if they want to, but on the other hand if the child takes the test, it's practice and the score doesn't count."

Ah, practice. So, all the anxiety and tears by young learners, parental anguish, all for nothing but practice. I'm sure parents especially will be pleased to hear they've been played for suckers and their children used as pawns.

Because those tests do count, just not for the kids. Those standardized tests which now the kids know they can fail with impunity, which they will give the effort the lack of accountability deserves, will be used to rank, grade and fire teachers.

What the governor has told us here with the back of his hand is that his fiercely imposed teacher evaluation plan is not just deeply flawed and outrageously unfair, it's — his word — meaningless.

LeBrun nails it as usual - Cuomo, the Regents and the state educrats are playing parents for suckers and using children as pawns in order to impose their "accountability" system onto schools and teachers that is, in the end, "meaningless."

This statement by Governor Cuomo that the tests are "meaningless" for students will be used again and again and again in the battle against Endless Testing and the state's education reform agenda.

It is, as LeBrun wrote, a "monumental gaffe" that puts Cuomo's whole education reform agenda into perspective.

That reform agenda is "meaningless" in any productive sense and is only meant to be used as a bludgeon to close schools, fire teachers and instill fear and anxiety in a system already rife with both.

200,000+ parents understood that and sent a message to the state politicians and educrats that they will no longer enable that system to flourish by providing its precious "data" by opting their children out of the state tests.

When next year's tests come, we will use Cuomo's "the grades are meaningless" statement over and over and over in the lead up to the state testing period to add to this year's opt-out numbers and put even more of a shiv into the system.

If you're an opponent of the Endless Testing regime, the Common Core, teacher evaluations tied to test scores and other tenets of the corporate education reform agenda, you have to give Andrew Cuomo credit where credit is due.

He helped out greatly with the opt-out movement this year by imposing his draconian education reforms in the budget and essentially forcing the legislature to either take them or vote down the budget.

Coming just a few weeks before the state testing period, that threw a lot of fuel onto the fire against the Endless Testing regime.

And now he's done an even bigger favor to the movement by admitting the tests are "meaningless" to students.

Thanks, Governor Cuomo.

That's an admission that is going to keep on giving and giving.


  1. Now Cuomo has the duty and responsibility to tell the people of New York why Common Core exams are "meaningless" for our students (we already know they they are junk piled onto junk), but can result in the firing of teachers and closings of our public schools.

    Mr Cuomo...the lawsuits, just starting with "wrongful termination" are just around the corner. The entire agenda of the privatization movement is an abomination, that you continue to sell the people of New York out for your own personal gain and profit.

    You are as far from a publicly elected statesman as possible...and you will be treated like the slime you truly are.

  2. Thank you Mr Cuomo...for showing us all, that which most of us knew already, the scam in education that you have rammed down the throats of the people of New York.

    We have had enough, both of the systematic and harmful attacks on public education...and we have had enough of you.

    This New Yorker, an educator, and a parent, looks forward to the day when you are thrown into a prison cell, never to see the light of day again.

  3. Our government officials are partners with the billionaires. Together they are trying to reshape our country into their own personal playground. Public Education is only one of their targets. The picture is much bigger than that. Cuomo made a Freudian slip and basically proved beyond a reasonable doubt what hundreds of thousands of people obviously already knew. Sending him to prison is not good enough by a long shot. I'd like to see the kind of action in Albany that they are having in Baltimore or Ferguson. Our government officials have become despots. He couldn't get this far without his entire corrupted crew. They ALL have to go.

  4. Thank God there are journalists in New York State who still have some backbone and are willing to stand up to Cuomo and the corporate puppet masters who are pulling his strings.

    I'd like to buy Fred LeBrun a drink. In fact, two drinks.

    And, note to all the teacher-hating journalists out there: the Wall Street 1%ers who want to take down public schools are also after YOU. They are looking to buy up what's left of the independent thinking media and put you all on a very short leash, too -if they haven't already!

    Teachers and journalists are on the SAME SIDE. It's about the Bill of Rights.
    -John Ogozalek

  5. now that the students believe the tests are meaningless to them most will not care at all, especially at the middle school level, and just fill in the circles. why bother even reading it. teachers are royally screwed now!!! thanks Cuomo for telling students the tests don't count!!!!!

  6. NYSUT should come out swinging on this. Why would teachers agree to any form of evaluation that the Governor deems "meaningless?" Insubordination my foot. If all teachers will now stand up to this, we might get somewhere.

  7. Our Reptilian Governor is absolutely right, the tests are "practice" for the kids.

    They are "practice" for the largely meaningless, tedium-filled, poverty wage jobs they are being trained for.

    They are "practice" for the powerlessness they will experience in the workplace, where their rights, needs, ideas, insights and feelings are ignored.

    They are "practice" for the collective obedience they will be expected to show clueless managers in the future, whereby they'll be expected to enthusiastically support every half-baked panacea and business fad that comes along. When one is thrown onto the trash heap, they'll be expected to immediately forget about it, and accept the new one as Holy Writ, as the embarrassing Michael Mulgrew continually tells us to do with each new teacher evaluation scheme.

    They are "practice" for being passive data sets for remote oversight by a small group of people seeking to watch and, hopefully, monetize everything about them.

    So, you see, our Reptilian Governor is absolutely right, the tests are important "practice" for training kids to accept being treated in the future with the same contempt and disregard that their teachers currently are...

    1. They are practice for the affordable housing that they are never going to get after their rent-stabilized units are bulldozed!
      They are practice for the taxes they will pay into the billionaire's pockets since they will control everything from housing to schooling to employment!
      And remember, "Only the little people pay taxes" by the late Leona Helmsley.

  8. When politicians and education "experts" get too involved in actual education, they screw it up. Many of the kids that take this test do not put forth any effort. How accurate are the results when the kids know the test results--for them--are meaningless.? How silly are the adults who think kids are going to try their best on a test that does not affect their course grade, graduation, college application, grade level promotion, etc.? Why would a kid struggle for hours on a difficult test that essentially we are asking them to take for the fun of it?